Liverpool's Alisson is Caoimhin Kelleher's biggest challenge, says Ireland boss Stephen Kenny

Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny on Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher: "Ideally, you'd want Caoimhin to go and play regular games because he's probably potentially one of the best goalkeepers that we've had."

Caoimhin Kelleher warms up pre-match
Image: Caoimhin Kelleher has played five times for Liverpool this season

Liverpool first-choice keeper Alisson is the biggest challenge to the international career of his understudy Caoimhin Kelleher, according to Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny.

The 22-year-old keeper has made five senior appearances for Liverpool this season, two of them in the Champions League, but has not been able to get the regular football he needs to challenge Darren Randolph for the number one spot for Ireland.

Kenny said: "Caoimhin got some games at Liverpool - but it's very, very hard to play at Liverpool because you've got one of the top goalkeepers in the world, Alisson, playing ahead of him and it is difficult.

"Ideally, you'd want Caoimhin to go and play regular games because he's probably potentially one of the best goalkeepers that we've had, and yet we won't know that unless he continually plays games, so that's interesting."

Ireland are currently at a training camp in Girona, Spain ahead of friendlies against Andorra and Hungary, with Conor Hourihane and Ryan Manning due to join them after Swansea's Sky Bet Championship play-off final against Brentford on Saturday.

Kenny said: "When I rang Conor Hourihane, he said to me, 'We are playing the play-off on Saturday, Stephen. Once we play, I will be out on the first flight'.

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"It wasn't any, 'I've had a hard season, I probably need to rest and put my feet up'. It was, 'I missed the last window through injury, I was devastated to miss it. I am on the next flight, once the match is over, I just want to get over there quickly'."

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